1. Travis County adopts $1 billion budget, lowers property tax rate
County commissioners adopted a $1.05 billion budget on Sept. 26 along with a property tax rate of 36.9 cents per $100 of taxable home value. Although this tax rate is lower than last year’s, it represents an increase in the effective tax rate because of rising home values.
2. Central Texas toll agency settles dispute with MoPac contractor, will pay $21.5M
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has agreed to pay the MoPac contractor $21.5 million to settle disputes over issues that led to the project’s two-year delay.
3. Car2go is replacing its entire Smart Car fleet—with Mercedes-Benzes
The Smart Cars that many Austinites have grown accustomed to seeing on city roadways—as part of the car-sharing service Car2go—are being replaced with Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
4. More registered nurses added to Austin ISD schools
More registered nurses will be added to Austin ISD’s comprehensive health services program following parent concern over a lack of medical coverage at district schools. Seton Healthcare Family, which is contracted to provide health services to students by AISD, has agreed to contribute another $1.8 million to fund the recent increase of registered nurses.
5. Community pleads with Austin ISD board to support affordable housing in East Austin
Members of the Austin ISD community pleaded with the district’s trustees at a school board meeting on Sept. 25 for more affordable housing on the east side. The community members called for a resolution to be adopted by the trustees as families within the district continue to be forced out of their homes by rising housing costs. A resolution was suggested that calls for two- and three-bedroom units at a monthly rate of $800-$900 to be built on the district-owned Allan Elementary School property, 4900 Gonzalez St., Austin, which was placed on the market by AISD late last year at a minimum bid of $12 million.
6. Austin Public Health offers free flu shots to uninsured residents
Three clinics will open in October for uninsured residents of Austin and Travis County seeking flu shots. Austin Public Health is offering free influenza immunizations for uninsured Travis County residents 6 months of age and older and all Medicare recipients with a valid Medicare card.
7. Dell Foundation pledges $6.25 million to Jewish Community Campus expansion
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced a $6.25 million pledge grant that will match every dollar donated to Shalom Austin’s Generations Campaign, which aims to raise $25 million to expand the Dell Jewish Community Campus that opened in 2000.